Italian group Leonardo’s AW169 helicopter is slated to begin delivery in the United States this year. The FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) has given it the green light; a year and a half after the Italian twin-engine obtained its European certification (EASA).
Launched in 2010, the AW169 belongs to Leonardo Helicopters' family of new generation helicopters, which includes the AW139 and the AW189 - machines that share the same flight characteristics and avionics. The AW169's cockpit is based on three large multifunction screens. The twin-engine helicopter can carry up to 10 passengers over 500 miles (800 km) at 160 mph (260 km/h). With a maximum take-off weight of 4.6 metric tons, it belongs to the heavy helicopters category.
In service since 2015, the AW169 is available in both civilian and military versions (AW169M). It is assembled at the manufacturer’s plant in Vergiate, some 30 miles (50 km) north-west of Milan in Italy. Its price, which varies according to its configuration, is around $8 million.